- The INEC has refuted allegations that it made the just-concluded registration exercise difficult for voters
- Solomon Soyebi, INEC’s national commissioner for voter education and publicity, revealed that not less than 84 million persons were registered since 2017
- Speaking further, Soyebi said that complaints from voters do not indicate any fault on the part of the commission
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Monday, September 3, dismissed claims and allegations that it made registration for the Permanent Voter Card (PCV) difficult for eligible Nigerians.
Solomon Soyebi, INEC’s national commissioner for voter education and publicity, said the allegations are far from the truth, The Guardian reports.
On the contrary, Soyebi said that the commission made the exercise comfortable and convenient for voters, adding that complaints from Nigerians did not indicate any fault on the agency's part.
However, there have been several reports of groaning from voters who claimed that the registration points were too few in each local government, forcing people to travel long distance for the exercise, an allegation which Soyebi refuted by saying that the same accredited polling units per local government were functional since 1996.
Soyebi said: “We did not change the locations, they remained at the wards. The local governments. Those are just excuses. We have not changed our local governments. We have not changed our wards since 1996, so this cannot new complain. So, we didn’t create new centres. They are existing centres.
“Many people left it late to decide to register. And even if we leave it to the eve of the election, there will still be a rush. After 2019 elections we will look at when to continue it, but we need to do more things in preparation for the elections. We can’t be running elections and CVR at the same time,”
“We yielded to public outcry. We expanded operations to a weekend and two weeks more when we captured more than 1 million people.”
He revealed that the commission is considering a review of existing polling units owing to development, change in landscapes and increase in the country’s population.
He stated: “There are so many shifts. So many settlements. In fact the population itself had shifted from what it used to be, so it needs a whole lot of expansion.
“There are laws guiding these things, we can’t just say because we have a lot of people here, we will just unilaterally create a place, no. The law has to be changed before anything can be changed."
Soyebi further said that the commission registered over 14 million voters in addition to over 70 million existing voters during the voter registration that commenced since 2017.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had reported that the office of the youth organising secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos, on Saturday, September 2, pleaded with Nigerians and residents of the state against acts that could heat up the polity.
Aregbe Idris, the head of the office, also pleaded with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to extend the deadline for the voters registration exercise so that many citizens would be able to take part in the 2019 general elections.
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